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The Discovery House Blog

Treatment over Incarceration: More Bang for the Buck

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Drug offenders make up over half of the federal prison population and a large percentage of the state and county systems, and yet locking them up doesn’t seem to have helped them or the society that put them away. The so-called War on Drugs is finally being examined in the cold light of cost-benefit analysis, and it looks deficient as a policy. US Attorney General Eric Holder recently made note of the fact that seventeen states have prioritized funding, favoring treatment over prison construction to handle the continuing influx of drug offenders. The federal Bureau of Justice Assistance reports that those states will save an estimated 4.6 billion dollars over the next ten years. In California, the cost of imprisoning a single drug offender is almost $50,000 each year. The opportunities for rehabilitation in prison are minimal, and the exposure to a culture of criminality is counterproductive in the extreme.… Read More

Why Alcohol is the Drug Least Likely to be Referenced as One

Why Alcohol is the Drug Least Likely to be Referenced as One

The reason whether alcohol is a drug can be a confusing question is mainly because of sociological or linguistic associations, meaning ordinary uses of the word “drug” typically do not include alcohol. Today drug has become a sort of slang for street drug; so identifying a drug dealer wouldn’t be the owner of a bar, someone who drinks socially is not commonly described as a drug user. The new slang has grown in reference to the difference between illicit or illegal drugs and what is sanctioned by the government and health department. People still go to the “drug store” for medications, so understanding the nature of what is medically considered a drug can become obscured by the language uses and social meanings. A drug is defined as any substance which when absorbed into a living organism may modify one or more of its functions. Ethanol is the intoxicating ingredient found… Read More

Oprah Winfrey docu-series: Lindsay

Oprah Winfrey Docu-Series: Lindsay

Despite the media constantly latching onto Lindsay Lohan’s drug addiction problems, the star signed up to appear in an Oprah Winfrey docu-series, appropriately called: Lindsay. Determined to prove she’s on the right track after her sixth trip to rehab, early reports suggest it was frustrating and challenging to make a documentary about Lohan as she tries to stay sober. Interviews and clips show Oprah coming down hard on the 27 year old actress: Winfrey says at one point as she’s briefed on the troubled star’s erratic behavior:   “This is exactly what everybody said was going to happen, and I believed differently.”  Many of Lindsay’s supporters applaud her honesty, that there’s nothing wrong with failing, trying again, failing and trying again. In the newest interview prelude to the subsequent docu- series, Lohan seems earnest, sober and honest saying she feels differently, that she doesn’t need to look to substances for… Read More

Do I have an Addictive Personality?

Do I have an Addictive Personality?

Addiction is a progressive psychological disorder, classified by the World Health organization as dependence syndrome: “a cluster of physiological, behavioral, and cognitive phenomena (with) the use of a substance or a class of substances.” This description characterizes the overpowering desire to consume substances despite harmful consequences. Today, a large percentage of people who drink or have tried drugs don’t become dependent on them, which leads to the question, why do some people become dependent while others never will? Is it possible to define what constitutes an addictive personality? As with any mental illness, substance abuse can affect people of all ethnic and socio economic backgrounds, and certainly some of the danger is the addictive nature of the substance itself. Tobacco use, for example, while having elements of psychological addiction, research identifies nicotine as the main addictive component of the dependence. If you’re looking for some simple indicators that help determine whether you’re at… Read More

Nutrition and Addiction Recovery

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Alcoholics and addicts self-identify usually only after their problem presents in such a way that they are “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” By this point, alcohol and/or drugs are so dominant a force that important areas in life are often neglected. One of these is nutrition. Stimulant users forget to eat for days on end; opiate abusers tend to eat irregularly and not very selectively (usually, whatever is at hand); and alcoholics, among other things, subject their bodies to unnatural insulin swings. Not only are eating habits generally poor, but alcoholics and addicts may have also compromised their bodies’ ability to metabolize nutrients properly, as drugs and alcohol interfere with healthy metabolic functioning. Recovery is about more than abstinence It’s about choosing an entirely new way of living, which includes self-care in terms of spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical health. Nutrition plays a crucial part—and not just… Read More

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